Sam Barnett and Seb Blanc working on something new. Quick notes for what we are up to:

We move fast: 6 years from idea to action

Seb and I share many odd similarities: We have the same initials. We are the same height. We each have three daughters. We worked together at Struq -  which we built across Europe and America and eventually sold to Quantcast. When Struq was sold we agreed to start a business together. 6 years later, here we are!

We are builders

Clarification: we suck at DIY - we mean building technology businesses.  

 

Sam was the founder and CEO of Struq which was acquired by Quantcast. At Quantcast, he became Chief Product Officer (- 22 offices, ~1000 people). Sam then joined Entrepreneur First ($200M VC fund backed by Reid Hoffman) as President and Partner which has created and funded 200+ deep tech companies. 

 

After Struq, Seb became the CEO of Skimlinks and sold it in 2020 for $60m -  turning a company that was struggling and burning millions annually into one that grew aggressively and produced 8 digits of ebitda in the year it was acquired. 

 

We love a good random experiment 

In the past 6 years, we: 

  • Broke the Guinness World Record for largest online art class to raise money for those most impacted by COVID

  • Helped organisations providing census data and technology to developing countries so they can make better policy decisions

  • Created Street Art Murals in SF to raise awareness of those doing exceptional good in the world.

 

We are back to building businesses and are searching for pain

We are looking for big problems using the recipe that brought us this far in the first place:

  • Break problems into Utility Functions that clearly state the components of that problem.

  • A Utility Function enables us to identify where the leverage is in that problem area.

  • We then do ‘customer discovery’ straight with customers rather than just do table top analysis

  • We run quick real world experiments and use traction (or lack thereof) to see if we can solve these problems

  • We are disciplined about canning 90% of what we do to never fall prey to the availability bias or the sunk cost fallacy

 

We are not sure where we’ll end up, but we know where we’ll start from

We are focusing on problem spaces that fit within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Food Systems and Nutrition (SDG 3)

  • Carbon capture and sequestration (SDG 13)

  • Productive employment for those who have been left behind (SDG 8)

 

Hint: if you’ve worked/studied in these areas, hit the contact button so we can talk ;)

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